MusiCube: Radio 1’s Essential Mix at WHP 2018

By Marcus Myers 08.10.2018

The onset of autumn in Manchester brings with it a new season at Store Street for The Warehouse Project (WHP). In its final season, and having been a few years since the MusiCube team's last visit, a sense of intrigue was there to see if anything different was tangible to celebrate this last hurrah.

The change was, however, modest, with a clear mantra of celebrating its roots and an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' logic. There was a new third room for up and coming DJs to ply their trade and, moreover, it allowed a more relaxed affair from the main room as, make no bones about it, the main room retained a familiar look.

Image for MusiCube: Radio 1’s Essential Mix at WHP 2018

Upon entering the main arena, there was a sea of humanity stretching all the way back from the DJ booth through to the merchandise stand: redefining the phrase 'standing room only.' This has been no different to prior years and could be a reason for potential future location changes. What it does retain is that sense of WHP charm, with fellow ravers mingling and getting lost in the beats and sounds on offer. Who was providing that sound? A true legend of the art in Pete Tong as Radio 1 descended to provide its latest Essential Mix and celebrate 25 years of the seminal show.

Indeed, Essential Selection is a true Hall of Fame in the dance industry, dating back to its inception in 1991. Pete Tong was the host of the first show, originally conceived by his tutor, Eddie Gordon. The concept behind it was a show with an emphasis on House and an outlet for different DJs and styles to express themselves. This was very much imbued in the offerings going through right until the early hours at Store Street, ranging from cult techno/hardcore heroes like Eats Everything and Jackmaster, to the contemporary lauded acts of The Martinez Brothers and the don himself, Pete Tong.

Image for MusiCube: Radio 1’s Essential Mix at WHP 2018

There was indeed a myriad of acts and genres available to feast upon. If there was any disappointment, you would have to go a long way to find it. The crowd lapped up the music on offer, taking in the headline acts, but also embracing the future talent on display: the future heirs it is hoped will carry on the music espoused since the early '90s. Wherever the WHP goes once it shuts its doors one last time on Store Street, there is no doubt the Essential Selection will surely follow in its wake. The final verdict? Neither side would be poorer for it.

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